Zachry Wheeler, Science Fiction Novelist

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I Have Slayed the Twitter Dragon (And Bid Farewell to Social Media)
Posted on August 18, 2021
Category: Zeedub Inkwell
Zachry Wheeler, Science Fiction Novelist

The final domino has fallen. I’m done. Finished. Elvis. Gone forever.

Twitter was the last platform standing in a long-fought war with social media marketing. I had resisted the killing blow due to a misplaced understanding of what I needed from promotions. I thought I was bound to Twitter and all its rotten innards, but I thought wrong. Thus, it is with great relief and zero sadness that I announce an end to the great campaign.

I have slayed the Twitter dragon. (Read: I quit.)

The reasons are plenty, but first some context. Over the last several years, I started to realize that social media wasn’t doing much for my brand. In fact, it was actively harming it. I decided to refocus that effort onto avenues that I had full control over (website, blog, magnets, mailing list). They quickly surpassed social media for traffic and sales, which prompted me to abandon social platforms one by one.

Before long, I had greatly simplified my online presence. I had shifted most of my focus to the blog and newsletter, which I found to be much more rewarding. I even created a page to help readers track my virtual footprint.

But despite the taper, one platform stubbornly persisted. I explained:

Twitter remains a necessary evil, in that I need a social media account in order to use specific ad services (share requirements). Feel free to follow me, but the platform is a means to an end and I spend very little time there.

I hated Twitter, but I justified the usage through a third party lens. “Well, I need something in order to use [insert promo service], and Twitter is the least terrible option.” Never once did I think to ask, “Do I even need [insert promo service]?”

The answer was an obvious “No.”

So obvious, in fact, that it created a simple calculus: a service that requires social media is a service I reject. Anything with a share requirement is an automatic skip. I parsed through the lot and realized that none of the offenders were critical to my marketing strategy, which teed up a glorious “aha” moment.

I don’t need Twitter anymore.

And so I left. Well, more like sprinted through the door like it was the first day of retirement. Leaving the hellscape of social media actually gave me tangible joy, which makes me wonder why I lasted for this long. I have posted numerous rants on the subject, which you can revisit here, here, here, and here. The writing was on the wall, and I can sense a great deal of relief knowing that this may be my final thought on the matter.

So what is there left to say that I haven’t said a million times before? This will be the first blog post that I don’t share on any platform. It’s calming in a way, like a fog bank clearing the road. There are no previews to generate. No taglines to ponder. No hashtags to track. No backlash to dread. It’s just a blog post. One that I will share and discuss with my newsletter subs on the next go-round. (inhales the sweet air of digital freedom)

Goodbye, social media. I’d say it was a pleasure, but it really wasn’t.

Read more:
No, I’m Not on Facebook (And No Author Should Be)
Embrace the Trinity of Ownership: Website, Blog, and Mailing List
Rethinking Author Branding: Why Social Media is Marketing Poison

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